Microscopy Imaging Revealing The Details In DNA Origami Nanostructures

As the direct microscopy imaging revealing the details in DNA origami nanostructures; which can able to see the greater details of the DNA origami nanostructures; which will lead to a greater understanding and control of their assembly for future applications. DNA origami is the folding of long “scaffold” strands of single-stranded circular DNA molecules held together using short “staple” strands to create various two- or three-dimensional shapes at the nanometer scale.

DNA is widely used as building blocks for these structures because of specificity of the interactions between complementary base pairs. Because these nanostructures can be made identically and in relatively large quantities, they are very attractive to nanotechnology researchers, and are potentially useful in a number of applications.

DNA origami nanostructures

One of the struggles of nanoscience is being able to clearly see the structures we are making, and understand these structures with greatest detail. In this case, the challenge is to understand the three-dimensional size, shape and uniformity of triangle-shaped origami structures that will serve as a shape-specific foundation to create a layer of uniform gold nanoparticles, forming a plasmonic device, a metamaterial with specialized properties.

Due to their chemical makeup, the DNA nanostructures are difficult to image, with conventional electron microscopy sample preparation methods crushing or flattening the samples; or using a contrast stain that introduces other materials into the sample, possibly altering their surface chemistry and properties. But able to directly capture images of fine details in unstained DNA origami nanostructures; using a particular type of scanning transmission electron microscopy called high- angle angular annular dark field STEM.

DNA-based plasmonic materials

To make DNA-based plasmonic materials; we need to mount many metal nanoparticles on the DNA structures to achieve specific electromagnetic properties. The process begins at creating metal seeds at the surface of DNA origami; and so we need to have a good understanding of the surface its structure; chemistry and topography, in order to understand the metallization process.

Our method of imaging unstained, unaltered DNA origami structures allows us to see those details; We envision our method to be widely using as a straightforward method to image DNA nanostructures. The research is further discussing in the paper, “Imaging of Unstained DNA Origami Triangles with Electron Microscopy. Imaging of scaffolded DNA and DNA origami nanostructures has been dominating; by atomic force microscopy of samples immobilized on bulk substrates.